Yesterday (April 7th) President of the Republic of the Philippines, Duterte announced the extension of the lockdown in the Philippines, and more specifically the island of Luzon until April 30th.
The extension comes after the delay of mass testing, and the increasing death toll from the ongoing coronavirus.
The “enhanced community quarantine”, which Duterte declared in mid-March to help contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus, was to end on Sunday, April 12 will now be extended until April 30th at the very earliest, this whilst threatening to “shoot dead” impoverished nationals who do not comply with the quarantine orders.
Whilst announcing the extension until the “end of April” Duterte acknowledged that country could not afford to be on lockdown forever whilst pledging “help” for businesses. Quite what said help would involve is currently anybodies guess.
Whilst the lockdown technically only covers Luzon (57 million people) the rest of the country have introduced similar measures that effectively have the whole country under some kind of lockdown.
Due to COVID-19, the Philippine Congress has approved legislation giving Duterte special powers to handle the crisis, as well as more than $4bn in government funds to support the frail healthcare system of the country, as well give funds to those who have their jobs. Although how effectively this will be spent is very much open to interpretation.
The government has come under increased criticism over its handling of events, with 14 healthcare professionals dying from the virus, healthcare at breaking point, and a lack of food and medicine available to people. Combine this with further threats on “shooting people” and it is easy to understand how approval ratings are not exactly what they were.
How much of the extra funds available will trickle down to business and bar owners in Angeles City is unknown, but expect Angeles to be a very different place in the future.